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Since IALs exist to bridge language barriers, if the world isn't interested
in them as of yet it stands to reason that we might be interested in other
less dramatic methods to facilitate communication on a smaller scale.

There are some pretty obvious linguistic areas of the world that need
tweaking, that would help bridge language barriers at least a few million at
a time. Some examples might be:

-writing: Kazakhstan is planning to switch to the Latin alphabet within the
next decade or so, and that's a good thing as it'll help facilitate
communication between Turkic languages. Uyghur is another language that
could benefit from this. I'm of the opinion that Persian should switch over
to the Latin alphabet as well since the Arabic alphabet it uses is rather
silly considering its lack of short vowels. There are a whole host of
examples in this area.

-vocabulary usage: most people don't know which words in their language are
shared by others. The average English person doesn't know that water is
Wasser and book is Buch, that international is internazionale and so on.
There are also a lot of redundant or somewhat overlapping words in each
language, such as dog and hound and street and road. It would be interesting
to create a forum with a script that changed what a person types in their
own language into words that are more easily recognized to others when the
word is redundant. It would make things a bit awkward here and there (since
not every dog is a hound) but it might be an interesting experiment to see
how easy it is to read what other people are writing in their own language.
Some changes to the writing might be possible as well, so if a user is
registered with English as his native language the German Wasser would
change to Water, Dutch zon to son and so on. On the other hand, a person
with German as his native language would have a screen that changes English
help to helf and so on.
-There would even be some immediate use for this where a company could put
their correspondences through the tool to make them a bit more legible to
people in another country. It would be free, and there would be no worries
about a weird machine translation. I guarantee that a great number of
companies would often use this tool if they know it's guaranteed to make
their correspondences that much easier to understand.

-Promotion of language standardization, languages worth learning and
bilingualism - if you're of the opinion that the languages of the world are
eventually going to merge into a big creole the best thing to do could be
promoting an existing creole. Bislama for example is mostly standardized but
the orthography isn't quite 100% fixed so this is your chance to promote the
one you think is best (probably the most phonetic one), so you could start a
website in the language (forums for example) that uses the orthography you
prefer. Or perhaps the best way to promote the language is to improve the
economy of the country that uses it (so that people have more time to use
the internet and think about other things besides day to day life) so that
could mean volunteering to build houses in Vanuatu or somewhere. And of
course bilingualism never hurts (it's usually passed on to your children if
you have them) so if you're Canadian and haven't learned French yet, that
might be a good idea too.

Any other ideas?

-- 
http://idistaro.com